Applying for HSS F-REC Approval

This page briefly outlines the procedures and resources associated with applications for research ethics approval from the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (F-REC). The committee may be contacted directly by email:

Paths to appropriate research ethics approval within DCU vary according to the level, risk, and types of proposed research. The following provides an overview to help you in directing your application for approval of a research project from the Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Research Ethics Committee:

Undergraduate (UG) and taught Masters-level (PGT) projects are reviewed and approved at local level, by the relevant School Ethics Convenor. Students should seek information on the associated procedures and deadlines from their supervisor(s) or programme chair. Supervisors and other staff involved in the approval of UG/PGT projects should be familiar with the School’s process and should contact their local Ethics Convenor for assistance.

All other HSS low-risk research projects may be reviewed and approved by the F-REC, using the application template and portal below.

Faculty postgraduate research (PGR) projects - i.e. Doctoral research and Masters-by-research thesis projects - should use this template and portal, but note that the application must be completed in conjunction with the research supervisor(s), who reviews and signs the application prior to submission. Supervisors should confirm that the research is low-risk if applying to F-REC.

All higher-risk research projects must be reviewed by the University-level REC, following their procedures and forms. Proceed here: REC Applying for Ethics Approval

Applying to F-REC for ethics approval

Ensure that you are completing the correct application template and procedure, by checking that ALL the following requirements for an approval by F-REC apply:

  • My proposed research involves a staff, doctoral, or masters-by-research project
  • My proposed research is within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at DCU.
  • My proposed research does not involve vulnerable participants (e.g. minors).
  • My proposed research is low-risk.

If any of these requirements are not met, you should refer to the university-level REC for approval of your proposed project.

Deadlines for Application

The F-REC commences in September of each academic and meets several times during the year, providing decisions on submitted applications shortly after each meeting. The schedule of meetings is provided below.

Deadlines for submission of an application for review at a particular meeting are at 5pm on the first working day of the month in which the meeting is held.

F-REC Schedule 2023-2024 Academic Year
Application Deadline F-REC Decision Meeting
01 September 2023 21 September 2023
02 October 2023 19 October 2023
01 November 2023 16 November 2023
01 December 2023 14 December 2023
01 February 2024 15 February 2024
02 April 2024 18 April 2024
01 May 2024 16 May 2024
04 June 2024 20 June 2024

For valid applications, submitted by one of the deadlines above, you should expect to hear from the F-REC about approval or edit requirements within 5 working days of the corresponding meeting that month.

F-REC does not meet in the summer months (July, August), so June is the last deadline for a review in an academic year.